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Book Review Reviews in Macromolecular Chemistry. Edited by G. B. Butler and K. F. O'Driscoll

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t o Reaction Mechanisms” ( R . P. Bell, J . 0 . Edwards, and
R. B. Jones, 14 pp.).
M . F. Hawthorne gives a n exemplary discussion of the boranes (102 pp., including a wealth of experimental material).
The main stress is on decaborane chemistry, polyhedral
borane ions, and the carboranes; the chemistry of diborane
and tetrahydridoborates are considered in a n undeservedly
brief manner. An excellent critical review of boron halides is
given in a short space by G. May (52 pp.). 66 pages are devoted to the boron-nitrogen compounds. The layout of the
section written by K . Niedentu and J . W . Dawson resembles
that of their book; however, more recent results are considered. M . F. Lappert arranges the boron-carbon compounds
(174 pp.) according t o their reactivity and to general considerations, which leads to a useful comparative account.
The classes of compounds discussed by G . W. Parshall and
E. L. Muerterties demonstrate how relatively small our
knowledge is of boron-phosphorus (30 pp.), boron-sulfur,
and boron-selenium compounds. Particularly in this field a
certain lack of reliable information becomes apparent.
Unfortunately the index of the book is not very attractive,
containing as it does too many wrong page numbers. On the
other hand, the number of printing errors in the text is small.
All in all, the book gives a good review of a still highly topical
and ever-fascinating field of chemistry, its variety and peculiarities that stem from multicenter bonding and the related
bond theory problems. The reader quickly recognizes a
certain independence of this element in the periodic system,
and the fact that despite the enormous developments made
in the last 15 years many parts of boron chemistry still
represent unknown territory and even the well explored
fields still conceal problems. This book can be recommended
t o anyone wishing t o gain an overall picture of the chemistry
of boron.
H . Noth [NB 747 IE]
Reviews in Macromolecular Chemistry. Edited by G. B. Butler
and K. F. O’Driscoll. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York 1967.
1st Edit., Vol. I , vii, 449 pp., numerous illustrations and
formulas, $16.50; Vol. 11, viii, 380 pp.. numerous illustrations, $16.50.
T h e constantly increasing number of scientific publications
makes it difficult or impossible for the individual t o keep
abreast of advances in all fields of interest; reviews are therefore becoming increasingly important for the fast and comprehensive dissemination of knowledge. The advantage of
reviews over handbooks is that they are up to date and can
deal with very specialized topics.
The present series of books edited by Butler and O’Driscoll
provides a brief survey of current topics in macromolecular
chemistry. Though there are several such series of publications in this field, this new arrival must be welcomed for its
breadth of subject. However, it remains t o be seen whether
the coordination and arrangement of the topics is such as to
avoid duplication of effort. Volume 1 of this series contains
seven articles, which give some idea of the wide outlook of
the book.
K . O’Driscoll and T. Yonezawa present a critical review of the
application of molecular orbital theory to the polymerization of vinyl compounds. Though the authors distinctly state
that M O theory has so far enjoyed only limited success in the
calculation of polymerization processes, the review shows that
considerable progress has been made in the field of freeradical polymerization.
A . Gurgiolo contributes an excellent report on developments
in polyalkylene oxides in 1963 and 1964. The initiators and
polymerization mechanisms are compared; in addition to a
detailed description of the physical properties of the polymers,
the use of crosslinked polyalkylene oxides in the elastomer
field is discussed. Though this comprehensive article (150 pp.,
352 references) deals with applied aspects mainly by reference
to the literature it still provides a good review.
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit.
/ Vol. 8 (1969) No. 3
The article by D . Lyman o n “Polyurethanes” is intended
mainly for chemists working with synthetic polymers; in contrast t o the book of the same title by VieweglHochtlen, which
appeared at about the same time, this author deliberately
ignores the technological side of polyurethane chemistry.
This is a very readable report, which provides a rapid survey
of the polyurethane field. However, the fact that the discussion is mainly concerned with linear polyurethanes should
be indicated in the title.
L. Reich and S. Stirala describe the uncatalyzed, uninhibited
thermal oxidation of saturated olefins. The literature is
covered up to and including 1964, and the extensive experimental data are well arranged.
Thermally stable polymers are discussed in a n article by
W . de Winter. Although the article is written very concisely,
it is easily readable (24 pp., 161 references) and gives o good
survey of the state of development up to 1965.
D . Lyman presents a review of biochemical polymers. The
clearly written article deals mainly with the use of polymers
as organ substitutes. The influence of the chemical structure,
shaping, and the surface state on the tissue compatibility and
the polymer-blood reaction are discussed; however, little information is given on the use of hydrophilic polymers.
Advances in gel permeation chromatography are described
by J. Johnson, R . Porter, and M . Cantow. The article covers
the literature up to 1966, and deals mainly with separations
in organic solvents. The literature data o n the influsnce Of
experimental parameters on the form of the maxima are
critically compared.
Volume 2 of this series also contains seven articles. Polymers
containing phosphorus in the main and side chains are discussed in two contributions hy M . Sander and A . Steininger.
The comprehensive article (178 pp.) presents a good survey
of the rapid development that has taken place during the
past ten years in the chemistry of organophosphorus polymers.
The theory of polyester formation is discussed by D . Safomon, with special reference to the alkyd resins. Microgel formation and its influence on the polymer structure are dealt
with in particular detail.
General symmetry considerations for stereoregular polymers
are discussed in a short article by A . Liquori.
After a general survey of polymerizability and the polymerization mechanism of cyclic compounds, R. Patsigu describes
the few known cases of successful copolymerization of vinyl
compounds with cyclic compounds.
The other contributions also deal with interesting topics in
macromolecular chemistry. K . Ramey and W. Brey report o n
the use of high-resolution N M R spectroscopy to establish
the structures of polymers; D . Blackadder reviews the field
of polymer single crystals, and an article by G . Cameron and
J. MacCalfum deals with the thermal degradation of polystyrene.
These reviews, which appear as separate items in the Journal
of Macromolecular Science, will be widely read; the choice
of subjects guarantees a n excellent survey of current topics
[NB 782 lE1
in macromolecular chemistry.
Molecular Orbital Theories of Bonding in Organic Molecules.
By R . L . FIurryJr., Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York 1968,
1st Edit., x, 334 pp., numerous figures and tables, $17.75.
As is mentioned in the Introduction of the book, the author
wrote it with two objects in mind. Firstly, he wished to
provide an understanding of chemical bonding on the basis
of the MO theory, and secondly he wished t o offer accurate
procedures for those who would like to carry out semiempirical M O calculations for themselves. The second aim
has been largely achieved. The eighth chapter provides a
very good summary of the formalism of the Pariser-ParrPople (PPP) method and its variants. The brief survey (in
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